Which pillow gave you the best sleep

Pillow fight: which pillow is the best?

The designation "der / das Polster" or "der / das Kopfpolster" is widespread in Austria, the German equivalent "pillow" is no less well known. Whatever we call the sleeping pad - we spend around a third of the day lying on a pillow in bed. Nevertheless, the sleeping utensil, especially in comparison with the mattress, is hardly perceived as influencing sleep. In fact, however, the head cushion, which is supposed to support the neck and head or to relieve the cervical spine, can be responsible for a restful or sometimes less restful sleep.


The pillow size must also be taken into account. The most common size for head cushions is 70 by 90 cm, for some time now the size 80 by 80 cm has also been offered more and more frequently.

Pillows are crucial for healthy sleep

One thing is certainly undisputed: our quality of sleep reflects our quality of life. Problems falling asleep and staying asleep, snoring and intense dreams can often be traced back to the wrong pillow. The same applies to headaches and spinal problems, which can then, in some cases, massively burden or even restrict everyday life. Choosing the right cushion is therefore essential, even if it is not an easy undertaking: the pillow should be cuddly soft on the one hand, if desired, and on the other hand firm enough to give the head enough support while sleeping.

You should consider this before buying upholstery

Special sleep studios and specialist shops are the best places to go for good advice. It is essential to clarify some factors in advance so that you can find the right cushion that is healthy for you. The individual answers to the following questions already indicate a direction.

  • Which slatted frame and which mattress do you use?
  • How do you sleep Are you a side, stomach or back sleeper?
  • Do you read in bed often and do you like to
  • Do you suffer from neck tension?
  • Do you like cozy pillows?
  • Are you allergic?

Pillow sizes and shapes according to sleeping position

Sleeping position

Pad size / pad shape

Stomach sleeper

If you mostly sleep in the prone position, you don't really need a pillow. Using one would mean raising your head area and inevitably hyperextending your neck. As a result, you twist your neck vertebrae and when you lie down, you almost form a hollow back. Pleasant is different.

You still can't without a cushion? Then grab a very flat pillow that you don't sink into if possible. Some manufacturers offer specially shaped pillows for stomach sleepers that have a hollow in the nose and mouth area.

Back sleeper

If you usually lie on your back, your pillow shouldn't be too high. A relatively flat pillow is sufficient to keep the head horizontal. It is best to use a flat neck support pillow, which supports the cervical vertebrae through an ergonomic elevation in the lower pillow area and does not reach below the shoulder area. If you have a pronounced hunchback, you may need a slightly taller pillow to lie comfortably.

Side sleeper

If you sleep on your side, the distance between your head and the mattress is greatest. For this reason, a supportive pillow measuring 40 × 80 cm or 40 × 60 cm is recommended so that the shoulder does not sink into the cushion but into the mattress. Depending on how wide or narrow your shoulders are, the required pillow height can vary. Here you should try lying on the pillow and have a second person check whether the spine is in a straight line and your shoulder axis is at right angles to the mattress. A soap-shaped pillow is recommended for smaller shoulders.


It is healthiest to only lie with your head on the cushion and not also with your shoulders, as this tenses the muscles very much.

Which filling for the pillow?

The right pillow is the one that enables the most comfortable and ergonomically optimal lying position. Choosing such a perfectly fitting pillow for yourself may be overwhelming for a layperson due to the many different fillings. We have compiled common fillers and their properties for you below:

Pillows are still commonly used Feathers and down filled. The following applies: the higher the proportion of feathers in the filling, the firmer the pillow will be. Feathers are responsible for the support, while down determines the softness of the cushion. Who is such a cushion suitable for? Since down and feathers have a very warming effect, this filling is suitable for people who freeze quickly and who also want a pillow with high fluffiness ("cuddle effect"). Incidentally, it is recommended that the load-bearing effect of the pillow is additionally increased by a 3-chamber structure. The pillow is then divided into three separate chambers or layers: the middle and supporting layer consists mainly of feathers, while the outer layers with fluffy down ensure a pleasantly soft surface.


Specialty shops and special sleeping studios also offer individual padding for pillows. The amount of filler is adapted to the body, which means you get your own individual head cushion.

Down and feathers are not without alternatives!

Not only from an ergonomic point of view is there filling material that is more recommendable than down and feathers. A filling with synthetic fibers such as Hollow fiber or plastic ballsthat are easy to shake and also washable. In these cases, the pillow filling can be refilled or even completely renewed. The fiber balls can be bought in the bedding shop. It will be cozy and easy with Fiberfill. Made of cellulose, Lyocell is the natural variant of upholstery wadding. Fillings made of PU or polyester also have a very high fill power. These are the cheaper variants, but you have to accept compromises in quality and as a result of the service life.

All Animal hair fillings (Horsehair, virgin sheep's wool, camel down hair) boast good moisture transport and are therefore particularly suitable for people who sweat a lot. But watch out: neither animal hair nor feathers are suitable for allergy sufferers. Instead, you access z. B. to hollow fiber, microfiber, cotton or polyester. These filling materials are also a good choice for allergy sufferers because they can be washed at 60 degrees. Natural materials fans stand next to the natural hair pillow Spelled or millet fillings for optional. These warm you pleasantly and the massage effect of the grains promotes blood circulation. However, they offer relatively little support and are therefore not advisable for neck problems. Another option is upholstery with natural latex or kapok fiber. The latter is also suitable for allergy sufferers.

Good to know:

It is best to choose cotton as the cover for your pillow, as it is well air-permeable and moisture can escape.

With these fillings you can keep a cool head

Many people know the problem, and not just in summer: You sweat at night and want nothing more than a cooling pillow. Gel foam pillows, for example, are a solution for this. Due to the good breathability, a very good sleeping climate is provided in the head area. Latex (synthetic or natural latex) is also something for "hot heads", as it ensures good moisture transport thanks to the foam structure.


Foam padding can be individually adjusted and cut to size.

Goodbye neck pain!

There are various health pillows on the market, such as Neck pillow or U-shaped neck pillow. For many, these models take a bit of getting used to, because in contrast to the soft upholstery, the neck pillow prevents the neck and spine from sinking in. The advantage here? Such a pillow provides better support. Neck support pillows can be individually adjusted in height using removable foam panels. Such individually height-adjustable pillows are highly recommended for people with physical complaints in the neck area, such as tension or pain symptoms. The foam cores are usually surrounded by a washable cover which, thanks to padding and quilting, releases moisture well. Anyone who suffers from tension in the neck and shoulder area can also do a special one Neck pillow made of natural rubber try out. It is anatomically shaped and adapts to the contour of the head and neck. The softer middle part lets the head sink in comfortably. The edge is firmer and therefore supports the entire neck area. The height of many of these healthy pillows can also be adjusted individually.

Water pillow are becoming more and more popular because they are very relaxing. They consist of hollow fibers and a water chamber that can be filled individually. Lying comfort is described as like sleeping on a floating balloon. The neck, shoulder and head area are relieved and supported equally.

Cushions made from thermoelastic materials, such as visco foam, adapt ideally to the shape of the head, but cost around 100 euros. However, they could be worth the investment if you have a tendency to dwell in a sleeping position for long periods of time. Because of the slowed-down restoring force, viscose foam is not recommended for frequent changes of position. In addition, your bedroom temperature should not be below 18 ° C, because then it will take a long time until the pillow adapts and becomes a healthy cushion.

However, this adjustment process can prove to be difficult for people with physical complaints in the neck area, such as tension or pain symptoms


For reasons of hygiene, a non-washable pillow should be replaced after two years at the latest.

Change pillows!

Since you often sweat in the head area while sleeping, the cushion should be completely replaced at least every five years. In the case of cheaper products (such as PU or polyester fillers), this can of course also be the case earlier. You can recognize a candidate by the fact that its bulking power has decreased, depressions in the core can be recognized or the foam has become brittle. Then you should buy a new pillow. For orientation: pillows with a foam core last an average of five years. Since loose fillings suffer from material fatigue more quickly (material is "compressed"), it may be necessary to replace the pillow after about three years or at least have it refilled (as is the case with plastic balls).


Before washing your pillow, check it for damage or cracks. Otherwise the filling could get into the washing machine and cause damage. You can find more tips on caring for bedding here.

How to wash upholstery?

Synthetic fiber is very easy to care for, while natural fillings (e.g. animal hair fillings such as camel hair or sheep's wool) are more demanding. It is best to take a look at the washing symbols on the label. It will tell you whether your pillow is machine washable or not. In the case of washable fillings, it is advisable to wash the entire pillow about every six months; the same applies to washable neck support pillow covers with a foam core. If the user sweats heavily or is allergic to house dust, more frequent cleaning may be appropriate. For allergy sufferers, it is also recommended to put the pillow in the washing machine more often, always at at least 60 degrees.

For reasons of space, upholstery should always be washed individually and no other textiles should be added to the drum. They are only cleaned thoroughly if they have enough space. Most of the time you are right with 40 degrees, in case of doubt you should choose a lower temperature. Basically, you can't go wrong with the delicates or wool wash programs. In any case, select a low spin speed (400 to 600 revolutions per minute) and then start a pure water wash to thoroughly remove detergent residues. Then put the pillow together with two tennis balls in the dryer - it will be nice and fluffy again. If you do not have a dryer, you should use an additional spin cycle after the pure water wash cycle.

Blankets and pillows that are not machine-washable should be shaken out regularly and aired well. In general, pillows with loose filling should be shaken regularly in order to maintain their fluffiness and adaptability.


Air drying down pillows can cause the filling to stick or clump together. Better to put it in the dryer!

Washing down is a special case

Down fillings require a lot of space, a lot of water and a sparingly dosed, gentle detergent. The wool washing program, with down detergent or at least wool detergent, is therefore the first choice for down. Also set a low spin speed (400 revolutions per minute) so that the down does not break. After the spin cycle, an additional rinse removes detergent residues. Finally, you should spin a second time to shorten the drying time.